The Dutchman has been a rock at the back since signing for Jurgen Klopp’s men and was named official Man of the Match in Madrid, becoming just the third defender to win the award after Paolo Maldini in 2003 and Sergio Ramos three years ago.
William Hill offered van Dijk at 15/8 (2.88) prior to the final but that has been cut after another influential performance for the Reds. Stunningly, no player has dribbled past the centre-back in any of his last 64 appearances for Liverpool.
No defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 has won the award and if van Dijk is able to scoop the award later this year, he will become the first Dutchman in 27 years to claim it.
However, the bookmaker still believe he was some work to do to oust Lionel Messi at the top of the pile with the Argentine 4/5 (1.80) to win a record sixth Ballon d’Or despite missing out Champions League glory again.
Still, Messi was the top scorer in this season’s European competition with 12 goals. Six of those came in the knockout stages including a stunning 30-yard free kick against Liverpool in the semi-finals.
He was also top scorer in La Liga for the sixth time, scoring 36 times en route to another league title, with 21 of those coming in 2019. The Barcelona star also registered four league assists in the calendar year.
Third in the betting is Mohamed Salah, who is 16/1 (17.0). The Egyptian opened the scoring in the Champions League final with a penalty in the second minute but has his work cut out to chase down Messi and van Dijk.
An outstanding African Cup of Nations tournament this summer is perhaps unlikely to see his odds cut too much, even if he guides his country to a first title since 2010.